Reader’s Digest Canada relaunches sites

More jokes, fun and food are on tap with and - as well as new ad opps. 

Reader’s Digest Canada is embarking on a new digital strategy with the relaunch of its French and English websites and bringing the venerable brand into a new media era.

This week, the publisher announces the debut of new online faces and platforms for and French-language sister site It’s been a handful of years since the brands have had a facelift and the gap has given the publisher lots of time to identify what people like and what they don’t, Yann Paquet, VP, digital media and strategic partnerships, tells MiC.

‘We’ve taken the learnings from all those years and relaunched with a contest channel, which is a favourite with advertisers and customers, and we’re launching a ‘Jokes & Fun‘ channel, and we’ve completely revamped the ‘Games‘ channel within the site as well,’ he says.

The other big change to the sites is a new ‘Food & Recipes‘ channel, which is inspired by Reader’s Digest Canada sister site but features recipes and content specific to Reader’s Digest. The revamped channel also includes a host of new opportunities for advertisers, he says, including sponsored recipe listings, sponsored ingredients pages or custom themed executions.

Other changes to the overall ad opps on and include a repositioned banner ad unit – moved directly underneath the browser navigation bar – and new rich-media ad units, such as push-down and catfish ad units.

Reader’s Digest Canada also has its eye on the mobile ball with an ambitious app strategy in which it will debut one new app a month for the next 12 months and is putting the final touches on an iPad edition to debut ‘in the coming months,’ Paquet says.

First on the app list is a ‘Jokes & Fun’ app in which the user shakes their phone and a different joke pops up on the screen. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities will be included in each app.

Reader’s Digest‘s ‘sweet spot’ target demo is women 35 to 54 and the new look for the websites has been designed specifically with this demo in mind, focusing on food, health, travel and family, Paquet says.

‘We’re trying to give our readers a reason to come back daily,’ he explains. ‘We’re not a portal, we’re not a niche site, we’re in between. I think people see us as a destination. So with the new site, we are expanding our channels so that people can find the targeted environment they are looking for.’ attracted 850,000 unique visitors in December and Paquet says a marketing campaign will soon launch as part of the publisher’s plan to increase its web traffic further.